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Upon entering the gardens, one is greeted with this view. Right now the ornamental understory is in its full glory, with the dogwoods at their peak and a carpet of daffodils, tulips and azaleas beneath.
I always opt to head to the right and hit the new canopy walk.
The new canopy walk is breathtaking. Suspended through some kind of awesome engineering I'll never understand, it takes visitors right into the canopy of Storza Woods. As you walk it, you are up in the trees and close to the base of their canopies.
The furniture in the garden is artful and provides a place to pause and enjoy the surroundings. At this time of year, you may have a coat of yellow dust on your bum when you get up.
After finishing the canopy walk, we arrive at the Cascades Garden. The old entrance road used to curve up this spot, right up the terraces of the fountain. You'd never know it today.
Zoom in on that gorgeous mature dogwood
After you ascend out of the woodland gardens, an exuberant field of tulips welcomes you to the campus, which includes a snack bar with dee-lish treats plus a library and classrooms.
After stopping off for a fresh turkey and havarti sandwich at the snack bar, you come out to this parterre, where boxwoods ring crepe myrtles that spring out of beds of tulips. The natural forms of crepe myrtles are so beautiful; I'll never understand why people give them those bizarre and severe pruning jobs. Their beautiful bark and sculptural silhouettes provide interest all year long, even without flowers or leaves.
The blue glass sculpture in the background is by Dale Chihuly.
Smaller garden rooms are part of the original gardens, and sinuous paths lead you from one to the next. The pink flowering trees are Piedmont azaleas.
Until this visit, I was unfamiliar with the Piedmont azalea, which has a feathery flower and reminded me of witch hazel rendered in pink.
Creeping phlox creates a colorful ground cover.
An ornamental orchard of Calloway crab apple trees provides a transitional space between the ornamental gardens and the edible gardens. They're just starting to leaf out.
Is anything blooming in your neck of the woods? Let us know where you are and what you're seeing in the Comments section below.
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